Saturday, February 27, 2010

Just keep driving... just keep driving

Comparably speaking, I've never been someone who has a lot of road rage. Yes, I get bouts of it from time to time... you know, the feelings that start to grow inside of you in an uncontrollable way and you risk turning into the Hulk at an inopportune moment. But, road rage isn't usually part of my driving repertoire. In fact, I was in the car with my sister one time when this woman pulled out of nowhere, cut me off, and almost hit me, and she said, "Ahh! Beep at her!" And I said, "What? Now? Huh?" because my initial response to other people's poor driving skills is to just say, "Jeez. That was annoying" and then move on with my life. Until now.

Since I drive almost 2 hours a day during 2 rush hours in the greater Boston area, I am on the road with pretty much every single Masshole there ever was in the history of the world. I don't care about the big stuff. Sure, zip in front of me while driving like a maniac. I honestly don't mind. But, disasters are in the details and I have quite a few comments on the little things people do that really bug me. Here goes.

Driving Etiquette
An Essay
By Anita Rackow

There are some very basic rules of the road that everyone should know about. The first one has to do with lanes. If you don't know what lane to be in while driving in on a major MA freeway, let me refresh your memory. The right hand lane is for merging onto the highway and for those getting off the highway. The middle lane is for traveling at a reasonable speed. The left hand lane is for passing.

Sometimes there isn't a lot of time to merge onto the highway before the next exit comes up. If you are trying to catch that next exit and someone else is trying to get on.... slow down. Let them merge into the right hand lane while you sneak in behind them to take the exit. Do not speed up and drive alongside them so they can't finish merging. Do not shout expletives at them (they can't hear you anyway) because they are in between you and the exit. If you are doing those things, you are the reason that person is panicking because they think they are going to be forced to take the exit that brings them right back to the highway they were just on, only going in the opposite and wrong direction, when they are already 15 minutes late to work.

Did I mention that the right hand lane is for exiting? I understand traffic and being a granny-type driver and the need to sometimes move into the right hand lane early because you just need to go a little slower than the people in the middle lane are driving. Please resist. Suck it up and go the 65 mph speed limit for crying out loud so the people who need to exit don't get stuck in the world's worst traffic jam because you are in their lane an exit early. When you are on a 4 lane highway, you especially do not need to be in the right hand lane. Ever. So move it. I want to take the exit for 95 North and you are in my way. A note to the people who think they are being tricky by driving in the breakdown lane in order to get to the exit more quickly. (A) I watched a police officer single-handedly pull over and ticket at least 15 vehicles who did that just the other day so there's that little bit of karma headed your way and (B) Really? You really can't wait 1 extra minute to inch along 1/4 of a mile to the exit in the normal lane?

The speed limit
I'm not opposed to anyone who goes over the speed limit, but if you are going under the speed limit on a sunny day with no traffic in sight, I might reach out my window and smack you as I drive by. It's just annoying. Those people are tricky to pass because I am always the last one to notice that all of a sudden I am driving 40mph on a 65mph highway and so the cars behind me are hopping into the left hand lane and whizzing by without letting me in to do the same. The only people who have a slow driving excuse are those whose cars have bumpers taped on by duct tape or Christmas trees strapped to the roof. Everyone else better go at least the speed limit if not a conservative 5 to 10 mph over.

I hate it when people beep at me for no reason. The other day I was stuck behind a bus. It just happened to me like an unfortunate cold sore and I couldn't do anything about it. So I sat there waiting until the bus was able to move along. Lo and behold, the beeping started from cars behind me. Hi. There is a bus in front of me. I can't get past it. Don't beep at me because of a bus sitting in front of me like a bump on a log. I have to wonder if the cars behind me think that we are going to do some sort of orchestrated beep along to get the bus to move ahead in a more timely manner. I refuse to participate in that sort of juvenile behavior. Instead of beeping at people who can't do anything about a situation, take the time you have to file your nails, check facebook, or write a text to your boss explaining why you are late for the 7th day in a row.

I also hate when people beep at me because they did something wrong. For instance, I was entering a CVS parking lot while someone was trying to exit. For safety purposes, one side of the lot has a designated entrance and the other is for the exit. I was going into the entrance. The person was going out of the entrance. He beeped at me. Oh, please excuse me sir. I am sorry for trying to enter in the entrance and got in your way while you broke the rules. Wait just one second while I hop out of my car and use my roommate's ice scraper (that I happened to commandeer one snowy morning and never returned) to ineffectively smash your windows in. Did that ruin your day? Did it? Well I am truly sorry but you also ruined mine so we are even.


Monday, February 15, 2010

The Wolfman

The Wolfman, an updated version of the classic monster story, offers pretty much what you expect. A man is going to get bit, he's going to become a wolf, he's going to kill, and he's going to be killed. You know from the beginning who is going to kill him. There really aren't a lot of surprises or originality in store.

Perhaps the only new concept is that there is another wolfman. From this point, or even before, it doesn't take a genius to figure out there will be a wolf-on-wolf showdown. Instead of following in the classic tradition of Wolfman vs. Dracula or Wolfman vs. Frankenstein we have Wolfman vs. Wolfman. In a way, he's facing off with himself. It would seem poignant except that the character development is presented in flashbacks that are quick and choppy and feature effects not in keeping with the pacing and look of the rest of the film. In fact, they take away from the overall feel. So, I don't really care about the character's inner demons. The outer demon is much more interesting.

Although formulaic, the movie is entertaining. There are a few good quick scares. The attack scenes keep a balance between suggestive shadows and blood splatters and more modern heads being cut off and stomachs being torn open right in front of us. The effects are good and I give the movie a lot of credit for opting more for makeup and costumes over too much CG. The wolfman character himself is well-adapted from the classic Universal monster. No one is going to win any awards for this picture, but it didn't slaughter the original.

Rating: 5 out of 7 stars